Thursday, March 27, 2008

Just another day in Paradise

"Hanauma Bay, located along the East Oahu coastline, was declared a protected marine life conservation area and underwater park in 1967. This natural crescent beach is tucked inside the walls of an extinct volcano. This is the best protected cove if you are new to snorkeling (and even if you’re not!), with a diverse population of marine life and a large, rich coral reef. Visitors can swim with over 450 species of colorful tropical fish. In fact, approximately 25% of the species found in the bay are indigenous to Hawaii."

In order to pull off this excursion, we have to be up early and out to the bay by 7:30 a.m. An early start is never my favourite thing, but bathing suit under shorts and tee shirt and we're off. The parking lot is still accepting visitors and we have about a 20 minute wait in line to purchase tickets and see a video and learn the drill about swimming in this protected area. Down to the beach which at this early hour is not so crowded. People come and go constantly.

This is the first time I have ever snorkeled! After explaining that "Auntie Leslie" rarely goes in the water, much less under the water, and indeed doesn't do this because of what might be IN the water, I am reassured that this is completely different. Indeed it is. We take it slowly at first and then venture over the reef which you have to just float above and not touch. You can see by the pictures the vastness of the reefs. It's very hard work keeping going, avoiding other flippers and the currents. All worth the effort and a big first for me.

As you can see, the waters are still such a magnificent blue, sun always sparkling, and magnificent beaches.

Tonight we are off to a party at one of Lesley's friends to meet some of her teaching buddies and island families.This is our host David, steaming "Ahi" (tuna) on tea tree leaves. Even people who don't like fish like this dish. What a wonderful opportunity to be invited to an Island home, and be treated to such delicacies. The house is a "pole" house, actually held up by telephone poles that intersect the entire house. Tomorrow will be a quiet day.

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